Purpose: To evaluate the diagnostic value of MR imaging in abdominal lymphoma staging, in comparison with that of the established spiral CT, within the context of a prospective study.
Methods: 50 patients with non-Hodgkin (n = 27) and Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 23) were examined with a plain T2-weighted TSE sequence (parameters: TE 90 ms, TR >2,500 ms, slice thickness 8 mm, slice interval 0.8 mm, ETL 20, NEX 4), and with spiral CT following oral and intravenous administration of contrast agent.
Results: Both CT and MR imaging agreed in showing abdominal lymphomas in 34/50 cases. The size of the detected lymphomas was between 1.5-9 cm (mean: 4.3 ±2.2 cm). In the analysis of the individual lymph node sites, CT showed involvement of the paraaortic lymph nodes in 29/50 patients, compared with 28/50 in MRI, and involvement of the portal lymph nodes in 15/50, compared with 12/50. Both techniques showed the iliac lymph nodes in 21/50 patients, the inguinal lymph nodes in 10/50, and the mesenteric lymph nodes in 11/50. Both techniques also showed focal organ lesions in 12/50 cases.
Conclusions: In the staging of abdominal lymphomas, MR imaging with a T2-weighted TSE sequence can be regarded as equal to spiral CT in the detection of lymph adenopathy and the demonstration of focal organ lesions. In addition to the absence of ionizing radiation, the advantage of MR imaging is that there is no necessity for oral or intravenous administration of contrast agent.